Neighborhood run and some kicks to the head

Today’s run (street): 4.6 miles
Yesterday’s workout (elliptical): 35 minutes

Another week has gone by and, once again, I squandered my chance to fit in a mid week run. My excuses are weak, I’ve been busy at work and Thursday’s commute home took 2 hours, leaving little time for a workout. I was concerned that I wouldn’t even have time to do anything exercise-related on Friday, even though I was working from home. I managed to fit in an elliptical session before dinner and felt better about my workout delinquency.

Although I count on my 3 to 4 mile Friday runs to jump start my weekend activity,  I was perfectly fine deferring to the elliptical. I’m on vacation most of next week and I expect to run almost every day except for Tuesday, because I need to go into the office for an important meeting.

I got out this morning and had a nice run around some local roads. I’m still surprised when I look at my performance numbers that don’t match my perceived effort. If I ignore what the Garmin is saying, my runs feel the same as they always have. I spent a lot of time running around the northern end of the neighborhood and crossed paths a few times with a woman who was walking on the right side of the street. I refused to acknowledge her each time, because I get mad when people do that and I’m really petty.

My perpetual motion friends, SIOR and KWL, both did long runs through Manhattan and Queens today. I think they may have done different organized events. I would have joined them but I had a family obligation plus they were talking about 14 mile routes (as if). Conditions were pretty pleasant when I went out  and I’m hoping that was also the case for them.

Earlier this week, my son came upon a bunch of old photographs of mine that have been in a box on a shelf for decades. Many of them were amusing, especially these three from the early 80’s of me sparring with a friend.

Standing sidekick
Jumping front kick
Reverse spinning crescent kick

I don’t think I’ll ever get that flexibility back, but I miss the workout. The above pictures were Tang Soo Do techniques. My preferred style is an Okinawan form called Uechi-ryu that doesn’t have big kicks. I can probably still do that. I’ve been thinking about going back to practicing some Uechi forms as a way to build anaerobic conditioning. I’m pretty sure I’ll prefer that to track repeats.

Band on the run. IT band that is.

Strike up the band

Today’s run (treadmill): 3 miles

It was cold and rainy this morning, as expected, so I wasted little time deciding between an indoor and outdoor run. I had things to do this morning, so I got on the treadmill earlier than usual and set my usual starting pace. This pace, which feels like 9:00/mile, can seem either easy or hard, depending on the day and circumstances. Today it felt relatively easy, but the soreness near my hip came back in a big way.

I wasn’t really concerned about the pain. It was there, but my tolerance to pain is fairly high. I was troubled that the soreness persisted even as I ran. It made me wonder if this was a bonafide injury. Running on an injury is never a good idea, but I wasn’t ready to cut my workout short. Instead, I dropped my speed back about 5% and my hip began to feel better.

I finally called it a run after reaching three miles and noted that my hip still felt tight and uncomfortable as I stepped off the treadmill. I did a little research online to see if I could identify the muscles or tendons that were causing this pain. I think that it might be my IT band. The pain is localized near my lower hip but the pain does travel a little. It’s not as intense as sciatica, but the symptoms seem to coincide with Iliotibial Band Syndrome.

I’m continuing to ice the area and I took Aleve which helps the pain. The practical next step is to rest a couple of days before I run again. Maybe I’ll do that, or substitute an elliptical session for my Wednesday run. I’m also thinking about resuming my Uechi-ryu (Okinawan karate) workouts now that I have a little more time. That will provide another cross-training option and also provide me with some much needed upper body exercise. 

Running slow has made me faster

Today’s run (treadmill): 25 minutes

It was still raining this morning so I opted for another morning’s run on the treadmill. I’ll admit that my view of treadmill running has changed a lot, for the better, in the last couple of years. I still find it boring, but it does provide a lot of flexibility in the way I choose to run.

I almost always start slowly on my indoor runs. It’s a way of easing into the workout, and it allows me to deal with the residual energy debt coming from my recently interrupted sleep. By the end of my run I’m usually clocking about an 8:30 pace, but to get there, I have to increase my speed every five minutes from my starting point.

When I used to practice karate, I understood how good form was more important than how fast I could block or strike my opponent when sparring. My instructor used to say “If you can do it slow, you can do it fast.” That’s the technique I’ve followed for the last six months and it’s yielded good results. Slow and steady in training — PR on race day.